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The Grant Duke Hose Co. #1

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We are registered as a 501(c)(4) corporation.  As a volunteer fire dept., your donations should be 100% tax deductible.  You can make donation through the PayPal link below or mail them to 80 Stevens St.  Wellsville, NY 14895.



The grant Duke Hose Co. was established in 1874.  Below is some history that has been put together by some of our members research.




June 15, 1874 – History of the Grant Duke Hose Co. # 1 (from 1974 Southwestern Program)



The A. Howard Hose Company # 1 was organized on June 15, 1874. The Howard Hose Company was attached to the Brooklyn Fire Company # 1 and occupied the Brooklyn Engine House, which was a one story wooden building located near the present corner of West Dyke St. and Brooklyn Ave. The Brooklyn Engine Company had a hand operated “tub” pumper which was drafted from cisterns located at strategic points throughout the village. The Howard Hose Company had a hose jumper with about 300 feet of linen hose.


August Howard for whom the company was first named, was an owner of the Bush and Howard Tanneries. He was President of the village of Wellsville (same as Mayor) in the 1870’s.

(from Illustrated History of Allegany County New York 1879) The charter members were: E. D. Clark, William H. Hunt, Louis Slough, John Freeman, T. J. Dwire, John Stern, John Hancock, George Wagner, W. C. Clark, W. A. Hunt, Albert Link, William Wack, Charles Schroeder, Headley Dunham, Charles Dunham, Charles Martin. This company is attached to the Brooklyn Fire Company # 1. The uniform comprises red shirt, black hat, pants and belts. The officers for 1879 were E. D. Clark, foreman; John Stein, assistant foreman; William Wack, second assistant; Charles Martin, President; F. Chamberlain, vice-president; Louis Slough, treasurer; Charles Mosier, secretary. The number of members is twenty-six.)


July 1878 the Howard Hose Company was given permission to take their Hose Cart and 500 feet of hose to Cuba N.Y. on July 4th. The Howard Hose Company won the hose race and were presented a silver trumpet by the Cuba Fire Department. This trumpet is on display in our trophy case at our present Hose House. Then in August 1878 the Howard Hose Co. again participated in a Hose Race and was awarded a $50.00 cash prize.


April 1883 the members of the Howard Hose Company # 1 voted to disband under the name of Howard Hose Co. and change the name to Almy Hose Co. # 1 in honor of Mr. A. A. Almy who was president of the Howard Hose Co. and continued to be President of the Almy Hose Co. # 1.


April 1883 after reorganizing, the Almy Hose Co. members agreed to start on a new Hose House on the Brooklyn side of the Village. May 30th 1884, resolved that the Chief Engineer be instructed to sell the Brooklyn Engine House for $200.00 and the proceeds to be used for the purpose of building an engine house for the Almy Hose Co. The village budget for March, 1885 shows an appropriation of $100.00 for a fire Company owning Hose House. Other Companies not owning own hose house received $25.00.


In 1883 the Almy Hose Company remodeled their Hose House by adding a tower to the southeast corner for the purpose of drying hose. While there is no record of the event, a large fire bell was placed in the tower and in July 1936 this bell was removed from the tower. In October 1942 the bell was donated to a scrap drive conducted by the United States Government for war purpose.


In January 1894 the Almy Hose Company # 1 changed their name to the Grant Duke Hose Company # 1 in honor of Grant Duke, for his loyal support and generosity of the Almy Hose Company. A member of the Almy Hose Co. since 1887, he was elected President of the Grant Duke Hose Co. and held that office until his death May 11, 1904. Following Grant Duke was Oak Duke in 1905, William Duke in 1911, Phillip Duke in 1948, a member of the Duke family serving in the fire company for the past 87 years.


January 18th (19th), 1914 a disastrous fire of the Aluminum Works gutted the Duke Hose House and its roof collapsed. In March 1914 a contract was entered into for immediate rebuilding. June 14th 1915 a proposition was made before the company to purchase a Motor Truck. In September 1915 a Lippard Stewart truck was delivered. The Dukes being the first motorized fire company (wrong-Dyke St. Engine Co. was the first) in the Village of Wellsville. Following the motorization of the Fire Company orders were given to retire the horse and sell the old hose wagon for $75.00.


In February 1928 the Dukes purchased their second truck from the Buffalo Fire Apparatus Co., a three ton chassis, 500 gallon capacity, Hale Rotory pump and a Continental motor.


In October 1937 the trustees were authorized to purchase the third fire truck from Casler Mfg. Co. which was delivered and paid for in April 1938. Sixteen years later our Diamond T was replaced by a new John Bean fire truck a 750 Gallon Pumper with high pressure nozzles. Presently, we have a 1974 John Bean Diesel, 1200 Gal. per minute pump.


As the old Hose House through 85 years, withstood the rigors of service, fire, remodeling and failure to pass inspection by the Fire Underwriters it became necessary to consider building of a new Hose House. A land option was secured at a new location in September 1962, land purchased, plans drawn and ground broken in October 1962 with building completed and occupied in May 1968. An addition was added in 1981 giving us a new updated kitchen area, a new air conditioned social room and bar and storage area.